Board of Directors

Nazenin Ansari 

ansariNazenin Ansari is currently the Diplomatic Editor of Kayhan (London) and the Vice President of the Foreign Press Association in London. She served as the FPA President until October 2009 . Nazenin has worked with a number of Iranian educational and cultural foundations and is a member of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House.  Her commentaries have been published in the Guardian (Comment Is Free), International Herald Tribune, Fabian Review, OpenDemocracy, Christian Science Monitor and the Baltimore Sun.  She is a contributor to BBC World’s Dateline London TV and provides news analysis in relation to Iran on the CNN International, Sky News and Al-Jazeera English.

Ali Banuazizi

Ali Banuazizi is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and Director of the Program in Islamic Civilization and Societies. After receiving his Ph. D. from Yale University in 1968, he taught at Yale and the University of Southern California before joining the Boston College Faculty in 1971. Since then, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Tehran, Princeton, Harvard, M.I.T., and Oxford University. He served as the founding editor of the journal of Iranian Studies, from 1968 to 1982.  He is a past President of the International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). He is the author of numerous articles on society, culture, and politics in Iran and the Middle East, and the coeditor (with Myron Weiner) of three books on politics, religion and society in Southwest and Central Asia.

Farhad Daftary

daftaryFarhad Daftary received his early education in Iran, Italy and England, and then undertook his university studies during 1958-1971 in the United States. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Subsequently, he held various academic and governmental posts in Iran, including Director of Economic Research at Central Bank of Iran and Principal Partner of Yekom Consulting Firm.

In 1988 he joined The Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, where he is currently Co-Director and Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications. Dr. Daftary is a Consulting Editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica, Co-Editor (with W. Madelung) of the Encyclopaedia Islamica, as well as the General Editor of the Ismaili Heritage Series and the Ismaili Texts and Translations Series. He is also on the Advisory Board of The Encyclopaedia of Islam (third edition). An authority on Ismaili studies, he has written and edited a dozen books in this field, including The Ismāīlīs: Their History and Doctrines (1990; 2nd ed., 2007); The Assassin Legends (1994); Mediaeval Ismaili History and Thought (1996); A Short History of the Ismailis (1998); Intellectual Traditions in Islam (2000); Ismaili Literature: A Bibliography of Sources and Studies (2004), and (with Z. Hirji) The Ismailis: An Illustrated History (2008). He has also written more than 50 articles and book chapters, some 150 encyclopedia entries, and 40 book reviews. Dr. Daftary’s books have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Gujarati and numerous European languages; several of them have received prestigious awards.

Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak

karimiFor 19 years Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak was professor of Persian language and literature and Iranian culture and civilization at the University of Washington. He has studied in Iran and the United States, receiving his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Rutgers University in 1979, and has taught English and comparative literature and translation studies, as well as classical and modern Persian literature at the University of Tehran, Rutgers University, Columbia University, and the University of Texas. Professor Karimi-Hakkak is the author of 19 books and over 100 major scholarly articles. He has contributed articles on Iran and Persian literature to many reference works, including The Encyclopedia Britannica, The Encyclopaedia Iranica, and The Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. His works have been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, and Persian. He has won numerous awards and honors, and has served as president of the International Society for Iranian Studies and several other professional academic organizations.

Farhad Kazemi

kazemiFarhad Kazemi is Professor of Politics and Middle Eastern Studies at New York University. He has served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the International Society for Iranian Studies. He is a member of several professional organizations including the Council on Foreign Relations. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees (Executive Committee) of the American University in Cairo. Kazemi is a specialist in comparative and international politics, and Middle Eastern politics. A former editor of Iranian Studies, he has authored Poverty and Revolution in Iran (1980); Culture and Politics in Iran (1988); and has edited Iranian Revolution in Perspective (1980);  (with R.D. McChesney) A Way Prepared: Studies on Islamic Culture in Honor of Richard Bayly Winder (1988); (With John Waterbury) Peasants and Politics in the Modern Middle East (1991); and Civil Society in Iran (two special issues in Persian of Iran Nameh, 1995-1996). He has also contributed numerous articles to professional journals and edited volumes. He has taught at Princeton, Oxford and Universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

Hassanali Mehran

Hassanali Mehran graduated in economics and politics from the University of Nottingham and served as a lecturer in economics at the University of Bristol.

In Iran he served as Governor, Central Bank of Iran, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, National Iranian Oil Company, Minister of State in Charge of Plan and Budget Organization, and Minister of Economics and Finance.

In the United States he served for 24 years at the International Monetary Fund and his last position was Senior Advisor of Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department.

In Aruba he served as President of the Central Bank of Aruba for two terms and President of the Aaruban Investment Bank.

He is the author of several well received books, including (ed.) External Debt Management, Washington, D.C., International Monetary Fund 1985; Monetary and Exchange Reforms in China: Achievements and Agenda for the Future, Washington, D.C., International Monetary Fund, 1996; Interest Rate Liberalization and Money Market Developments in a Selected Number of Countries (Seminar Volume), Washington, D.C., International Monetary Fund, 1966. Financial Sector Development in Sub-Saharan African Countries, with Piero Ugolini, Jean Philippe Briffaux, George Iden, et al., Washington, D.C., International Monetary Fund, Occasional Papers, September 1998; and “Financial Sector Reforms in China: Banking and Monetary Reform,” an article with Marc Quintyn in Finance & Development, July 28, 2005.

Oktor Skjaervo

Skjærvø Prof. Oktor Skjaervo is Agha Khan Chair of Iranian since 1991 and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. A Norwegian with an early interest for languages, Prof. Skjaervo learned several of them before studying French, Latin, Sanskrit, and comparative linguistics at the University of Oslo. This in due course led him to Old Iranian Studies, principally languages. After spending a year in Iran in the early seventies, he finished his studies and at the recommendation of Professor H. Humbach he became an Assistant Professor in Mainz, Germany, from 1980, teaching linguistics and Iranian Studies and laying the foundation for a Scandinavian Language Program. In 1985 he joined the Encyclopædia Iranica as an Editor while waiting for the retirement of Prof. Richard Frye at Harvard, whom he wished to succeed and finally did succeed in 1991. He teaches to whoever may be interested in the Old (pre-Islamic) Iranian languages, religions (Zoroastrianism and Manicheism), and history. His work over recent years has been centered on Avestan literature and the foundations of Zoroastrianism, as well as the application of Oral Literary Theory and comparative mythology to ancient Iranian literature and religion. Oktor Skjaervo has published numerous articles and books on Pre-Islamic Iran. He has served as Consulting Editor of Old and Middle Iranian Languages at Iranica since 1995. He has been frequent contributor of major, original entries to the Encyclopædia.

Mehdi S. Zarghamee - Chair

ZarghameeMehdi Zarghamee pursued his advanced studies in the US and received his B.C.E. with Highest Honors in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology at Atlanta in 1963; M.S. in Structural Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL in 1963; and his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering, from the same university in 1965; and S.M. in Mathematics from MIT in 1968.

He returned to Iran in 1968 and joined the faculty of the Arya-Mehr (now Sharif) University of Technology. He later became the Vice Chancellor in charge of research and development, and then Chancellor of the university. He was also the Managing Director of National Iranian Copper Industries from 1977 to 1979.

After the Islamic revolution, he immigrated to the U.S.A. and is currently Senior Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. In this capacity, he performed many extremely challenging projects, including numerical simulation of global collapse initiation of New York World Trade Center Towers in 9/11 attack, which he performed for National Institute of Standard and Technology as the prime investigator.

Dr. Zarghamee received a number of prestigious awards and authored more than 160 papers in mathematics, structural mechanics, structural engineering, hydraulics, antenna and propagation, pipeline engineering.